The Business of the Big Game

eBay News Team

eBay Data Labs breaks down purchases and predictions around Sunday’s Super Bowl.

As shoppers gear up for Super Bowl 50, eBay Data Labs have been analyzing troves of historical buying behavior data related to previous winners, top-selling players and halftime performers.

Turns out that the Super Bowl yields some fun facts with its game-day play. Take a look at what’s trending on eBay and what we think it means.


Some fans say the Denver Broncos chose their blue and orange to match the Colorado sunsets – and while our heatmap might look similar, it really shows what’s rising in both Super Bowl teams’ sales on eBay.

With orange areas dominating, Denver Broncos merchandise stands out, but don’t count the Panthers out just yet. The highest concentration of the heatmap’s 229,636 transactions are clustered in the Southeast. Looks like the U.S. is a Bronco-nation with a Carolina state of mind.

With less than a week until the big game, do you have your Carolina Panthers or Denver Broncos gear ready to go?

eBay 2016 United States of FootballWas it Cam’s Smooth Moves?

During the regular season, item sales for Carolina trended below Denver’s until Week 6 when the Panthers topped the Seahawks – and Cam Newton debuted his dab dance. After that game, sales of Carolina merchandise started to spike, and quickly closed the gap against the Broncos’ lead.

To get your own version of Cam’s popular pose, check out eBay. As of Jan. 28, dab ‘em sweatshirts were the top-selling Carolina Panthers item, and “Camolina” dab ‘em T-shirts were trending #2.

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Can Cam Beat Peyton Off the Field? 

Taking an eight-year look back at jersey sales, the 2014 Peyton Manning wears the crown for the most popular jersey of Super Bowl players. Fans who cheered his 2010 Indianapolis win had to re-stock their supplies when Manning played his second Super Bowl for a new team – the Denver Broncos.

Yet, with Cam Newton taking the field this weekend, will he be able to surpass Peyton Manning’s reign as the top jersey seller? We’re continuing to see Cam-fever take off with fans flocking to eBay for his jersey; since Jan. 8, more than 7,500 Cam Newton jerseys have been bought on eBay, making Cam #3 in jersey sales among big game players since 2008.

Take a look at the other personalities who topped our list:

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A lot of our football fun facts become clear after digging deeper into the jersey data:

  • Peyton Manning (2014 Denver Broncos): Peyton’s second Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos sold more jerseys than his second big game with the Colts. But, Indianapolis fans in 2010 paid more – $37.76 on average – than their Denver counterparts – average of $31.36. 
  • Tom Brady (2008 Patriots): Tom Brady may have already won four Super Bowls, but his jersey sales only spiked twice, in 2008 (vs. the New York Giants) and in 2015 (vs. the Seattle Seahawks). His fans in 2008 got the better price ($39.98 vs. $44.18), but not the win.
  • Ray Lewis (2013 Baltimore Ravens): On eBay, quarterback jerseys sell better than other positions. But, in 2013, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, wasn’t as popular as the Ravens’ Ray Lewis, who retired following his championship win and who ranks fourth on the jersey list.
  • Russell Wilson (2014 & 2015 Seattle Seahawks): Seattle fans showed their love for Russell Wilson, making his jersey sales spike both years he went to the Super Bowl. Intuitively, more people bought Wilson’s jerseys the first year he went (5,591); fewer had to spring for a jersey the second time (3,957).
  • Eli Manning (2008 & 2012 New York Giants): With four years between Super Bowl appearances, maybe the New York Giants fans lost their Eli Manning gear after their victory? His second Super Bowl in 2012 sold about 600 more jerseys than his first in 2008.

Halftime Winners

Will you be tuning into halftime? eBay data shows that performers are likely to see a spike in merchandise sales the week following iconic performances.

But, the results might surprise you. 

In the last five years, every artist who performed in the Super Bowl halftime show saw an increase in the number of items sold on eBay afterwards. Bruno Mars made the biggest impact, jumping 244% in bought items the week after his performance compared to the week before. Black Eyed Peas comes in as a distant second with a 101% increase followed by Katy Perry (71%), Beyonce (69%) and Madonna (31%).

In fact, after rave reviews for Beyoncé’s and Katy Perry’s halftime shows, fans wanted to look – and even smell – like these scene-stealers. The top-selling item after each of their Super Bowl performances wasn’t their music – it was their fragrances. Also in the top 10 for Katy Perry were false eyelashes and cell phone cases, and for Beyoncé, handbags and high heels.

This year, Beyoncé and Bruno are back by popular demand; will first time performer Coldplay see similar trends? 

Not a bandwagoner?

There’s still time to show your team spirit, even if you have to wait until September to see your team play. Be party perfect and show where your allegiance lies this weekend. Visit for gear from your favorite teams.

To get all your game day gear and party supplies, visit eBay’s Super Bowl event page.

Also, to keep tabs on what’s trending, be sure to check out: